Archive for the ‘ICH-NGO’ Category

International Conference of ICH NGO’s June ’15


Members of ENS have organized the first international conference of NGOs accredited to UNESCO Convention 2003 for Safeguarding of ICH practices.

About ENS
Members of the ENS – the NGO of the Catalan Cultural Association NetworkIMG_6805 – include the 28 most important federations working in the field of Catalan culture.
Cultural associations are widely present in Catalan society and have a very particular and unique organisational model. They are the concrete response of civil society to the needs for training and education, self-help, community work and social cohesion while developing Catalan popular and traditional culture in a sustainable way, both from a historical and future perspective.

For full details of Conference please visit

Interested NGOs are invited to join  1st International Conference of NGOs accredited to the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO. The event will be held from the 6th-13th of June, 2015, in the Catalan town of Santa Susana (Barcelona). Cultural visits to Barcelona (castellers/human towers), Berga (La Patum) and Arbúcies (Methodology for the inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Biosphere Reserves) will also be carried out.

What are the specific objectives?

  • To facilitate the exchange of knowledge and experience among NGOs.
  • To identify difficulties in NGOs work.
  • To explore links with other actors involved in the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage (authorities, experts, communities, etc.).
  • To discuss the role of NGOs in the transmission of intangible cultural heritage.

Virtual phase. Prior debate to identify key topics to discuss during the in-person phase  (March 1st – May 15th, 2015) through the Delibera platform. The objective is to identify those issues in which a consensus has already been reached, in order to avoid focusing on them during the in-person session. Therefore, other topics can be deeply addressed during the in-person session. This system allows to identify, in real time, the level of agreement or disagreement with each proposal as well as to provide input, comments and respond to the participants.
During the month of February, those representatives from the accredited NGOs, experts and anyone from Catalonia interested in this topic, will be invited to participate in the forum, that will host two rounds of discussion. Both English and Catalan will be used during the working process.
Content to be discussed during the working sessions:

Topic 1: Internal organization of the ICH-NGO Forum. How should we be organized in order to be more efficient in our role concerning the Convention. What kind of internal organization do we want for the NGO Forum?

Topic 2:Consultative Body. How should/can the Forum contribute to the election of the NGO appointed to be part of the Consultative Body.

Topic 3: Ethics.

Topic 4: The mission/role of NGOs / the Forum -between experts and member states.

Topic 5: Sustainable development. The role of NGOs / the Forum concerning the new paragraphs of the Operational Directives that will be discussed in the next Committee session. 

In-Person phase (from 6th to 13th of June, 2015). Team working sessions where a contextualization of the topics of discussion through a brief presentation of the results obtained from the virtual phase. The working methodology will include the identification of problems and the agreement of participants regarding the achievement of possible solutions and/or proposals for future behaviors.

Topics: those resultant from the virtual phase.

  1. Working sessions related to the Convention, combined with visits and cultural other cultural representations around Catalonia (Castells, Patum, Palau de la Música, Montseny Biosphere Reserve).
  2. Working sessions about the obligations involved in being an accredited NGO.
  3. To provide an overview of the NGO Forum’s constitution.
  • Parallel activities: some of them will be addressed to companions but most of them will also be addressed to the congress participants. It is important to highlight the attractiveness of Barcelona as a cultural capital and Catalonia’s cultural offer.  
  • Samples of different festive Catalan popular culture for each working session: Sardana (dance), music bands, “esbarts” (dance), theater, Nativity scenes (models), etc.

IN-PERSON CONFERENCE: it includes the accommodation from 6th-13th of June, 2015, full board, transfer from and to the airport (El Prat-Barcelona, Girona-Costa Brava) and other scheduled activities: 235,00 € per person in double room (DUI) and 343,00€ per person in single room. Drinks during meals (only meals are included) and the tourist tax (€ 1.00 person / day) are not included.
Payment of Registration to the In-Person Conference:
Through bank transfer ES54 0081 5494 2100 0107 9111
Indicate name, organization (it must match the name on the registration) and the reason for the transfer (International Conference of NGOs accredited). Then send a copy of the payment receipt and registration form to

Continuity called heritage


Over two years back, Madhukali invited unpublished analog recordings of Indian classical music in self-raised or inherited collections. Unplucked flowers, in mysterious ways, may turn into gems to be discovered by the fortunate. Heritage, like all things natural, is a presence waiting to be recognized. In a country rich in heritage like India, many scions of musicians families are blessed with letters, photographs and recordings of their ancestors. Yet, the urgent necessities of immediate life keep pushing the care of their inheritance off till they verge on brink of oblivion. Some music was received; not all of it can be restored fully or published at once. Commemorating the tenth anniversary of  UNESCO Convention 2003 for Safeguarding of  Intangible Cultural Heritage, Madhukali has released three compact discs restored from analog originals.

cdWork is also on progress for restoration and digitization of recordings of Dr. Lalmani Misra’s live recitals on Vichitra Veena, Sitar and other instruments as well as  wealth of  knowledge in lectures and lessons on Raga-s and essentials of Indian classical music. Apart from rich listening experience that each Raga recital provides, the collection is significant in another way. It constitutes an elaborate illustration of the Misrabani technique and style. How through  adequate application of Mizrab Bol-s, an artiste may create compositions starting from any beat in any Tal.

Dr. Misra had initiated a course in Indian music at University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia in 1969. He taught there off and on throughout the seventies. Many of the recitals he presented in Philadelphia, New York and other cities were recorded by disciples . Almost all recitals were in different Raga-s. The students benefitted from such rich resource by making copies from the original tapes. It is possible that such copies may still be available with them while a few originals have been misplaced or deteriorated beyond restoration.  It would benefit the music world if  copies of such recordings are added to the main collection available with Dr. Misra’s family.  Madhukali in collaboration with Misrabani, would soon release the first volume to commemorate the birth anniversary of Dr. Lalmani Misra on 11th August.

Categorization of Music Practices


Rajiv Trivedi

VibCov2As we celebrate the tenth anniversary of UNESCO Convention 2003, the idea of conservation and continuance of traditional practices through according them greater visibility has become a familiar concept. It may yet take time to percolate to every working adult, but community leaders have begun to realize its importance and are coming up with plans. It was reported in media that people of Varanasi are busy in making inventory of activities both ancient and current, so the ancient most city (Kashi) may be included in UNESCO’s representative list. Kashi has been seat of all Indian learning not only for creation but also for evaluation and incorporation. Music finds mention in Veda-s and has been an intellectual discipline ever since.

Broadly, practice of Indian classical music is in area of singing and instrument playing. Both these areas involve the form, content and governing rules. The techniques are quite different; yet, still, they are in the same domain of intangible.

Instruments involve the solid and the physical as well.

So, for the heritage worker, the various fields for consideration become distinct.

1. Body of Music.

2. Practice & Technique in distinct areas of Vocal and Instrumental.

3. Actual form of instruments. Tangible and Intangible Aspects.

4.  Intangible aspect of instrument making.

In a way, this implies that field of instruments is more demanding as it involves two extra aspects (No. 3 & 4) than vocal music.

Further divisions might be made on Stream – North Indian/ Hindustani and Karnatic – region, period, style and school. So to work for continuance of practices in the field of Indian Classical Music is a massive one. Existing body of documentation itself requires inventorying. If we leave the last century out of consideration when audio-recording techniques were evolving, music has been an absolute oral practice. Among all arts, it alone takes a form of absolute intangible.

It shall serve the cause if interest of academia may be harnessed for examining their content through the point-of-view of safeguarding ICH. Young researchers should be encouraged to take up studies that aim  either directly at preservation and safeguarding, or employ this as one of the factors for evaluation of current practices. Government and other organizations should come up with schemes to encourage publication of treatises under the head of “Safeguarding ICH”

Madhukali Releases rare recordings


Madhukali had initiated a project  two years ago for conversion of  music, available on analog magnetic tapes and audio cassettes to digital format. Since then, encouraging communication has been received in this regard. People have sent in queries about the process for getting audio and video content on analog systems; some have informed how they could achieve it through use of appliances available at home. Several queries fizzled into silence after initial interest. Still, there is  some positive result to report.

Dr. Lalmani Misra first organized Dhrupad Mela at Varanasi in 1975 and in next few years worked for its continuation. In the little time available (he died in July 1979), he could turn it into a tradition. The almost invisible practices of Dhruva-pad singing and Pakhawaj-playing,  gained national and international lime-light within a decade and today exist as mainstream practices of classical music. Dr. Misra organized the event in collaboration with Sangeet Natak Akademi, Maharaja of Banaras and Mahant ji of Sankatmochan. He chose Dr. Rajeshwar Acharya and Pt. Omprakash Chourasiya (both were young music students at BHU in 1975) to assist with the project. Prominent citizens and musicians were contacted to maximize participation of Dhrupad singers and Pakhawaj players. During the three day conference ending on Shivratri, discussion were held during day sessions and recitals were given from evening to morning. Pandit Ravishankar and Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar were present as chief guests in the inaugural function.

For the final session on the last day, Dr. Misra was invited to give recital on Vichitra Veena. Pt. Amarnath Mishra, Mahant of Sankatmochan accompanied him on Pakhawaj. Misrabani technique enhances the range of string instruments to present complex compositions. It was a perfect finale to gathering of Dhrupad musicians. He played Bairagi, bringing in dawn and consummated the festival with Bharavi.

To commemorate tenth anniversary of UNESCO Convention 2003, Madhukali planned release of this precious recording and some others in March 2013. “A Dawn of Veena” represents the endeavour to preserve and promote traditional practices –  both,  the original effort of organization and present attempt at digital preservation.


In a function dedicated to Dr. Lalmani Misra, organized by Madhukali, his son late Dr. Gopal Shankar Misra and disciple Pt. Omprakash Chourasiya presented a duet on Sitar and Santoor. The 1992 recording made on magnetic cassette tapes has been successfully converted to digital format. “Wings on Strings” sports the spontaneous Upaj work m hallmark of Indian Classical Music, in Raga Kirwani.


Madhukali choir, since its very inception has been accomplishing a rare task: combining best poetry with classical music. It has released several titles of such compositions. In “Geet, Ghazal: Abhinav Pahal” poetry of Pt. Krishna Kishor Dwivedi, Shivmangal Singh Suman and several others like Amir Khusro, Ghalib, Meer and Bahadur Shah Zafar.


Interested persons may write to for placing orders.

Safeguarding ICH: Identifying Elements in Music


The difference between tangible and intangible heritage has been pointed again and again. Clear poignant measures may be taken for protection, restoration and appreciation of tangible cultural heritage. Whereas these measures often require a small amount of modification, by and large the principle remains unaltered. It is neither sufficient nor advisable to safeguard intangible heritage in this fashion. For, it exists in practice,  in continuity, more like an organism than a finished product.

One has to understand the motivation fuelling a practice in order to safeguard not merely the practice but its essence as well. Without taking into count this intangible – the immeasurable aspect of the art-form –, despite logic of methodology and objective examination, the benefic exercise would become the bane. The end of knowledge is not mere collection or aggregation; all these essentials lose value if creation of new idea-s is blocked.


Practice of music in India is traceable from Veda-s. This practice was motivated, in part, with aim of granting  joy and still more, for self fulfillment and absolution. It developed as a discipline with guiding principles based on tangible phenomena. Safeguarding of Indian classical music involves respect for both its motivations. Absolution, in itself an abstraction, provides the practice with ability to transcend the physical rules; yet due its innate obscurity is likely to be shunned for clearer goal of granting pleasure. The science of Indian music developed with clear principles, which permit it full play and space for innovation (Upaj) and safeguard its practice from turning into vain exercise in providing vacuous pleasure to undiscerning people. The danger of ‘entertainment’ devouring  ‘discernment’ and ‘absolution’ was never greater. With breaking up of all human affairs into consumption and production, demand and supply, the ‘fast buck’ has pushed away all other concerns.

Indian Classical Music practice was gradually being molded towards the ostensible goal of pleasing listeners, ever since music could be recorded and replayed. No musician had ever listened to himself singing in exact fashion over and over again. And now, the ability to sing in a manner that could not be bettered – because, this same performance would be heard with same flourishes and blemishes – changed the very mode of Riyaz.IMG_4825 The objective now became an exercise in dissatisfaction for executing blameless performance instead of immersing and losing oneself in one’s music. A still more dominant factor was Time; the necessity to bind one’s practice into definite duration.

It is not that idea of excellence and competence were absent prior to this; but they existed more as just reward that comes to deserving and fortunate practitioner. Concept of detached Karma (one has no right over the result of one’s action) modulated the practitioner’s psyche. Historically, a large number of practitioners, rooted in idea of absolution through art,  remained content with their station in life.  The increasing pressure of externality erodes the internal fulfillment, and most practitioners succumb to immediacy of tangible rewards than wait for intangible, uncertain absolution.

Stalwart vocalist of Jaipur-Atrauli school, Pt. Rajshekhar Mansur received training in music and life from his father and Guru. He confides how his father prohibited him from using music for earning livelihood.  Music is for mind and heart, not for stomach and flesh. And so the son took up university degree and pursued career in higher education, even as he kept learning with his father. Modern thrust on individual as efficient consumer-producer batters all activities into demand-supply chain. Individuals are taught to excel in an activity that comes closest to their heart and use it for subsistence.  Fulfillment is welcome so long it aids economic cycle; but self-sufficiency that opts out is frowned upon. It no longer fits in with the system. So long as music aims to entertain others, it is an activity involving exchange; but when its end is self-fulfillment, it denies the external world. Apart from such a stance being against consumption, it also exemplifies an alternative to rat-race existence.

The idea of attaining bliss – Sat, Chit, Anand – was evocative of spirituality and thus Indian music practitioners whole-heartedly accepted and professed it as ‘spiritual’. Any attempt to approach it rationally were opposed and rejected. Scholars, on other hand, had always  discussed practice and directed course of development.  Introduction of tangible aspects in recent past has reduced clarity and focus in academics.  Through equalization, trivia – because of sheer volume – now  commands greater attention of learner, practitioner than actual science.

Indian Classical Music thus faces threats on all platforms: political, social, economic and academic. Political correctness attacks it for ‘elitism’; socially, it is less than entertainment; it is no longer an economically viable activity  with inverted user: time ratio; academically a near-impossibility to teach with reduced attention span and learning time. Whereas technology aids most learning activities, inter-relationship of Music and Time, does not provide short-cuts.

Safeguarding Indian music thus involves re-affirmation of its shadowed goal – self-fulfillment, sublimation, absolution – through Appreciation, Practice and Education leading to awareness and consensus amongst practitioners for preserving innate strength and essence. People have to realize that solution to thirst in a desert lies not in turning it into ocean, but in a tiny, secluded haven. Music, like life, has existed only through giving not mining. As Magi would say, giving is reward in itself.

Darshanam Sitar Workshop


Dedicated to legendary Sitar Wizard, Dr. Chandrakant Sardeshmukh, Darshanam has announced extension of Dr. Chandrakant Sardeshmukh Music Academy to benefit pupils desirous of learning Sitar from experts in India.

The first workshop being held at Pune offers intense courses to basic and advanced learners. The four-day Basic workshop beginning 1st April 2012 shall be conducted by Misrabani practitioner Dr. Santosh Pathak. For Advanced workshop on 6th, 7th and 8th April, Dr. Ragini Trivedi has been invited. She is known for expertise in performance, preservation, critique as well as her innovations in Indian Classical Music.

Registrations from eager students from Japan, U.K. and India have been received for these courses. The workshop shall be conducted using Ome Swarlipi – the symbol-based, digital notation system created by Dr. Ragini Trivedi. Exponent of Misrabani, a style created to enhance range of string instrument by father Dr. Lalmani Misra, she has been hailed both as teacher and performer of Jal Tarang, Sitar and Vichitra Veena. Working for Safeguarding of ICH practices in the area of ICM, she is nonpareil when it comes to knowledge of form and content. She plays rare Raga-s on a rare instrument, Vichitra Veena.

Dr. Chandrakant Sardeshmukh had studied Sama Veda and other Vedic literature apart from Ayurveda and directed his knowledge in innovating ways to use music for providing succor to patients suffering from life-style diseases. A number of students who studied with him in Japan & Australia have contributed to popularity of Sitar in their countries. Dr. Pooja Sardeshmukh invited experts in Misrabani tradition to conduct workshop, as child-prodigy and sole student of both Vidushi Annapurna Devi and Pandit Ravishankar ji, Dr. Chandrakant was inspired by Dr. Lalmani Misra’s work on Vedic music and elucidation of Bharat Chatuh Sarana.

Wiki for ICH NGOs


Forum of NGO and CBO in their meet at Bali agreed to stay in closer collaboration through a wiki.

Prof. Egil Bakka created this wiki for NGOs accredited as adviser to UNESCO Convention 2003. The wiki is adding members while getting several good suggestions.

The forum had already started publishing an e-newsletter. With cloud-based space for discussions, sensitive issues will find better resolution.

Thanks to Eivind Falk, Wim an Zanten, Amareswar Galla, Carmen Padilla and others for their contributions to this initiative.

Dawn of Awareness: Manganiar Singers


In its endeavor to introduce the concept of Safeguarding ICH practices, Madhukali has been in contact with members of several communities. It is with a sense of fulfillment and joy that we acknowledge success. The musician communities of Rajasthan have fared a whit better than their counterparts as a result of projection and promotion of the state as tourist destination of India. Several f them have been fortunate in taking their art to distant lands. Suraj Bhopa is one such, who through collaboration with Italian singer Andrea Camerini, has toured widely and made his singing style visible to the world. Yet, it takes a community decision to plan survival and preservation of their cultural heritage.

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Recognition–A step towards preservation


Madhukali congratulates all sensitive and concerned citizens for encouraging appreciation of our intellectual and cultural heritage. There are numerous ways that the mammoth task of preserving seeds, if not fruits and flowers, of traditional knowledge rooted in warmth of harmonious nature-human relationship may be addressed. Recently Madhukali made digital release of four albums recorded on magnetic cassette tapes. Of the numerous live recordings of Vichitra Veena made by Dr. Lalmani Misra on magnetic spool tapes, three tapes have been digitally converted. The music would be made available soon.

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Preservation: Past in Lap of Future


The young are creative. They are also curious. Access to information has been greatly increased by technology. This is just right for uniting all above for greater preservation and safe-guarding of cultural practices. Barry Schwartz, author of “The Paradox of Choice” suggests ‘gentle nudging’ and empathetic curation to reduce paralysis from excess of choice. This ‘parental wisdom’ already exists in traditional practices. The website of  UNESCO is a great resource of cultural practices across the globe that have been included in Representative list. Ms Cécile Duvelle, Secretary of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage explains essence of the convention.

The criteria referred to in the video-clip form the very basis of UNESCO’s Convention 2003.

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova has endorsed recommendations by the International Advisory Committee of the Memory of the World Committee to inscribe 45 new documents and documentary collections from all over the world on the Memory of the World Register, which now numbers a total of 238 items. The recent newsletter reported this observation of Ms. Bokova,

By helping safeguard and share such a varied documentary heritage, UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme reinforces the basis for scholarship and enjoyment of the creative wealth and diversity of human cultures and societies.

Educators, activists and enthusiasts have only to get the youth interested in a single Intangible Cultural Heritage practice in their region; their energy would do the rest. There are ample examples of individual mandate contributing to strength of collective. It only needs a little effort to bring information to their notice. The multimedia web service of UNESCO provides rich resource on its website.